By John Speer
Central Iowa Press
Volunteers are being sought to serve as court-appointed special advocates (CASA volunteers) for children involved in juvenile court matters in Tama County. The call for volunteers has been an ongoing process over the course of years and is not directly connected to the recent closing of the Child Advocacy Board office in Toledo.
"The volunteers are appointed by the court to work for the best interest of abused or neglected children under the court's jurisdiction," an Iowa Child Advocacy Board news release explains.
The request says there is a "particular need for men and people of various racial and ethnic backgrounds." In addition, "volunteers from all cultures, professions, and socio-economic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds" are welcomed.
To volunteer or obtain more information contact Charlotte Brandvig, toll-free 866-295-5424 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Toledo office was closed in response to state budget cuts according to Brandvig of rural Traer, the Child Advocacy Board coordinator. She responded to a Chronicle inquiry about the Toledo office which had been located in the Wobeters Associates Building at 221 West High St.:
"With State budget cuts the decision was made to close two of the physical offices (Toledo and Dubuque) and several support staff were laid off. Several of the more rural offices which serve CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) only (not Foster Care Review Board) have always been home-based.
"The decision was made to close these two offices and the two Coordinators were moved to home-based offices and the support staff were laid off. The CASA program continues to be supported in all areas of the state.
"The Foster Care Review Board (FCRB) has been redesigned to some extent in all areas and there are now fewer boards than there previously were. Some of them have been combined to serve a larger geographical area with one board rather than having several boards that might have only met for a partial day."